MOORHEAD, Minn. (9/21/19)--- Concordia used big plays at the end of the second quarter and third quarter to turn a back-and-forth defensive battle into a 48-0 runaway in the MIAC opener against Augsburg.
The Cobbers led 13-0 with less than 1-minute left in the first half and then connected on a 49-yard pass play for a score to end the period and then came away with two more touchdown strikes of over 25 yards in the first five minutes of the third quarter before coming up with a pair of "Pick 6" TDs to end the scoring.
The 28-point, big-play third quarter led to Concordia's first win of the year and eighth victory in the last nine league openers.
Both teams opened the game with punts on their first two possessions and neither team scored until the seventh possession of the contest. The Cobbers took possession on their own 25-yard line and then used the legs of freshman running back Ba Blamo to go 75 yards in eight plays to come away with the first score of the game. Blamo rushed the ball five times for 52 yards and capped the scoring drive with his first collegiate touchdown run.
Concordia took a 13-0 lead on a 5-tard TD run from quarterback Blake Kragnes and then Kragnes found sophomore receiver Andy Gravdahl behind the Auggie defense for a 49-yard TD pass with 26-seconds left in the opening half.
The Cobber defense stepped up their effort in the third quarter. They held Augsburg to a 3-and-out" on the first possession and then on the very first play of the Cobber drive, Logan Hatfield sprinted off left tackle and ran 58 yards to push the lead to 20-0.
The Auggies went "3-and-out: on the next possession before Kragnes and Gravdahl once again found the end zone with a 28-yard strike. The Cobbers had run three plays in the third quarter and had pushed the lead from 20 points to 34.
The final two scores for Concordia came courtesy of the Blackshirt defense. Sophomore Marshall King had a pass hit him between the numbers and he strolled 14 yards untouched into the end zone.
On the very next possession, senior linebacker Willie Julkes III jumped an out route and ran 40 yards for the second "Pick 6".
The Cobber defense limited Augsburg to 226 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers. The Auggies went 3-for-13 (23%) on third down situations and were 0-for-2 inside the Red Zone.
Concordia amassed 387 yards – 296 of which came on the ground. CC was 4-for-10 on third downs and only had one turnover – a season low for CC.
Hatfield led the Cobber ground game with 89 yards on nine attempts. Wyatt Curtis added 72 yards on six carries and Blamo had 62 yards on nine rushes.
Kragnes went 4-for-7 for 91 passing yards and threw for two TDs. Gravdahl caught both scoring strikes and finished with three receptions for 85 yards.
Senior linebacker Sam Michel had a team-high six tackles while Alex Berg had four tackles and a sack.
Berg's defensive play was overshadowed by his prowess as the team's punter. Berg punted four times and averaged 52.3 yards per kick which included a 70-yard rocket that was downed on the Augsburg 1-inch line.
Berg is now averaging 47.8 yards per punt this season which leads the MIAC and is in the Top 3 of the nation.
96 AND COUNTING: The win in the conference opener was head coach Terry Horan's 96th career MIAC victory. He needs four more to become the third coach in program history to win 100 conference contests.
UP NEXT: Concordia will hit the road for the first time in three weeks when they travel to St. Paul to take on Hamline on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. The Pipers are 1-2 on the season and lost their conference opener to St. Thomas.
CONCORDIA vs. AUGSBURG HIGHLIGHTS